Don’t fake it till you make it, fake it until you become it – the essential guide to body language 0

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Expanding your body language – through posture, movement and speech – makes you feel more confident and powerful, less anxious and self-absorbed, and generally more positive. Amy Cuddy

Amy was travelling from Missoula, Montana to Colorado with some friends to help organize a conference with University of Montana students. They left early evening on a Sunday to endeavour to reach Boulder Colorado for morning classes; a 13 to 14-hour drive.

PresenceSharing the driving, the 19-year-olds headed off in good spirits. Amy was asleep in the back of the jeep when the driver veered off the road, hit the rumble strip and the car rolled several times throwing Amy out of the vehicle; her head slamming into the bitumen. The force of the impact fractured her skull severely injuring her brain – her IQ dropping by 30 points.

After a lengthy stay in hospital where she received extensive occupational therapy, cognitive and speech therapy, physical and psychological counselling, she returned home. Slowly, her mental clarity began to return and she finished college four years after her pre-accident classmates.

Now a Harvard Professor, Amy Cuddy began to detail her experiences with stressful situations and how she dealt with them. Her book Presence is filled with well researched and accessible stories of individuals who she has helped to flourish and gain confidence in their own ability to handle their respective and unique problems. She gives detailed and scientific information in an easy to read book which I found very interesting.

This book would appeal to anyone going through difficult times, lacking in confidence in their own abilities and looking for some understanding and guidelines as to how to harness their inner strengths.  It is also enlightening as to how our body language reveals so much more about our state of mind than we imagine. Others who may benefit are people who have trouble with speaking in public, teaching, or maintaining good communication with staff or students.

Presence, by Amy Cuddy, is published by Hachette Australia, is available from Dymocks

Laraine Fisher

Retired from Monash University, Faculty of Medicine as Personal Assistant to the Faculty Manager and assisted the Dean with Policy documentation (2006). Went back to work part-time in 2008 for Michael Hill Jewellery as an Office Assistant for 3 years and then finished up to work with my husband part-time for a Labour Hire company as an Admin Assistant. Qualified as a Professional Counsellor in 1999 and worked as a counsellor for 12 months before being offered a full-time position at the Faculty of Medicine. Prefer reading : Murder/mystery thrillers with a psychological twist. Also enjoy novels well researched and based on history. My favourite authors are Ken Follett, Kate Atkinson, Peter James, Gillian Flynn, Peter Robinson, Jeffery Deaver, Lynda Le Plante, David Baldacci and Jodi Picoult.

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